Fan accused of injuring linesman with coin ‘banned’ from football grounds

Assistant referee Calum Spence feels the back of his head after being hit by a coin. Picture: SNS Group
Assistant referee Calum Spence feels the back of his head after being hit by a coin. Picture: SNS Group

A football fan accused of injuring a linesman by throwing a coin at him has been banned from Scottish football grounds until he is convicted or cleared.

Stuart McGaughay was warned that he faced being sent to prison if he breached the special bail condition forbidding him from attending any regulated football game.

The 30-year-old from North Lanarkshire appeared from custody on an assault charge at Livingston Sheriff Court on Friday after earlier handing himself in to police.

McGaughay, of Deeds Street, Airdrie, was charged with throwing a coin or similar object at assistant referee Calum Spence and “thereby striking him on the head with same to his injury”.

Spence was filmed bleeding from a head wound after being hit by an object thrown from the crowd during Livingston’s 1-0 Scottish Premiership win over Rangers at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Sunday.

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McGaughay pled not guilty to carrying out the attack and is now due to stand trial at the West Lothian court on 13 December, with an intermediate hearing set for 28 November.

Stewart Peebles, defending, asked for McGauchay – who he said had no previous convictions – to be freed on bail.

Kate Irwin, prosecuting, asked the court to impose two special bail conditions: that the accused did not attend at or attempt to attend at any regulated football match in Scotland and that he doesn’t contact or approach, or try to contact or approach, the alleged victim Mr Spence.

Sheriff Douglas Kinloch asked McGauchay if he agreed to abide by the conditions until the case had been dealt with and the accused replied “yes” each time.

The sheriff warned him: “If you fail to comply with these conditions of bail it will be treated as a serious matter, so you could be remanded in custody.

“If you were found at any football match you would be brought back to court and you may be remanded in custody.”

McGauchay left the court complex via a back entrance with his fiancée and his mum to avoid waiting cameras.